Dark skies and stargazing events What's on in Dorset?

A choice of star-studded events take place in dazzling stargazing locations across Dorset when the conditions are right and the weather permits!  

Stargazing observatory

An astronomy observatory is located within the nature reserve, close to the coast path at Durlston Country Park, Swanage. This great facility enables you to enjoy the use of an observatory through events and sessions organised for groups and run by keen astronomers from the Wessex Astronomical Society. The sessions usually include talks in their learning centre and the opportunity to observe the night sky using a range of different telescopes. Visit the Durlston Country Park website for more information or follow their Facebook page to keep up-to-date when stargazing events are being held.

Durlston Astronomy Observatory


Don’t miss the annual event StarFest – the Dark Skies Festival - where you can learn and participate in beginner’s astronomy. This festival is run by Cranborne Chase National Landscape International Dark Sky Reserve. The week-long festival includes stargazing in the evening, family-friendly workshops and space themed actives for children. The full programme is displayed on their website, and many of the events are free.

Stargazing and Planet Hunting

The Parks Foundation (for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch) run occasional Stargazing and Planet Hunting events led by an astronomer, as well as many more wildlife themed events. The events are held within their parks.  

Some campsites will also be running stargazing events, don’t miss an opportunity to join in the fun during your stay.

As well as stargazing events there are also other activities, including bat walks, badger watching and moth capturing. You'll be amazed to learn about the huge range of different things that you can see and participate in. For more information visit our Dark Skies activities page.

We handrawn heart stargazing

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